NeighborWoods Tree Planting Program

NeighborWoods has delivered over 15,000 trees

Last updated Sep. 16, 2015 - 2:07 pm
NeighborWoods logo

The NeighborWoods program fosters a partnership between the City of Raleigh and its' citizens toward planting and caring for street trees in residential neighborhoods. Through the program, the City gives free trees to residents in exchange for planting and caring for the trees.

NeighborWoods purchases all trees with donations!

Keep in mind that this is a truly cooperative effort... all trees are purchased with donations!

If you wish to send us a donation, print out the donation form and return it to:

Raleigh Business Office
Attn: NeighborWoods
105 Pullen Road
Raleigh, NC 27607

Am I Eligible?

There are 3 requirements to receive free trees through the NeighborWoods tree planting program:

  1. Residence must be located within the Raleigh city limits.
  2. Trees must be planted within the City's rights of way as a street tree.
  3. Pledge to plant, water, and mulch the tree for at least 2 years.

To participate We must assess your right of way. Contact the Tree Planting Coordinator or call 919-996-4865.

Be sure to give us your address and we will put you on the request list.

Assessing Right of Way

City staff identify rights-of-ways that are in need of trees. Neighborhoods with the least trees are selected first. We also welcome requests!

The planting sites are evaluated based upon distance to signs, intersections, utilities, light poles, water meters, and storm drains. In addition, we look at the site for it's ability to grow a happy tree and then suggest the appropriate type of tree for that location.

If the spot is suitable, we put a white paint dot on the curb and place a Free Tree flag where the tree must be planted. If you see a flag in your yard, locate the door hanger we also left with all the relevant information.

The door hanger explains NeighborWoods and asks the resident to choose the type of tree they prefer from those ones recommended. The door hanger explains that the resident is responsible for planting, watering and mulching the tree.

There is a detachable postage paid card attached to the door hanger. If the postcard is filled out and returned to us then the resident is added to the list to receive a free tree in the next planting season!

Care and Planting

All NeighborWoods trees are selected for superior form, disease resistance, and urban tolerance.

City staff delivers the tree with planting and maintenance instructions. City staff will also periodically prune and monitor the tree's performance.

Never Top a Tree

Topping is the removal of limbs from the top of a tree and this practice injures a tree seriously while creating the potential for many future hazards. Large topping wounds invite disease and rot into the very heart of the tree making it more prone to breakage and insect invasion.

Small Trees Available

These trees will mature at a height around 15 to 35 ft and are appropriate to plant under power lines.

Carolina silverbell Halesia tetraptera
This small sized tree reaches 30'-40' and has beautiful white bell-shaped flowers in the spring. It is a native species that is a wonderful landscape tree, especially with evergreen shrubs. Has vibrant yellow fall color.

Chinese fringe tree Chionanthus retusus
This small tree reaches 15'-25' in height with gray bark and leathery green leaves. The snow white flowers bloom in May-June.

Crapemyrtle Lagerstroemia indica
This fast growing tree reaches 15 to 25' in height with attractive mottled bark. It exhibits brilliant fall color and blooms may be white, pink, or purple in the late summer and early fall.

Fringe tree Chionanthus virginicus
Also known as “old man’s beard”, this small native tree reaches 15'-20' in height. Outstanding white, fragrant flowers bloom in late May. They are showy and fringe-like, hanging in loose clusters 4-8” long from branches, hence the nickname. Tolerant of both sunny and shady habitats.

Eastern redbud Cercis canadensis
This small tree grows 20'-30' in height and has lovely shiny, heart-shaped leaves. Known for its attractive pink or purple flowers in spring. More tolerant of drought and urban conditions than the straight species.
Oklahoma redbud

Flowering cherry | Prunus serrulata | ‘Okame’
This small tree reaches 20'-30' and is a hardy ornamental cherry tree. It blooms early in the spring with bundles of pink blossoms for about 3 weeks. In addition, it displays wonderfully vibrant dark red-orange fall color.

Japanese maple Acer palmatum
This small ornamental tree achieves 15 to 25’ in height. Layered spreading branches support lobed leaves that are a bright green in summer and range from yellow to deep red/purple in the fall. Great landscape trees that traditionally sell for a hefty price. Accept yours free of charge!

Kousa dogwood Cornus kousa
This small Asian variety averages 20' in height and has graceful layered branches. Showy white bracts surround the flower in April to May. Fall color is red to purple.

Magnolia | Magnolia grandiflora | ‘Little Gem’
This gorgeous evergreen magnolia is a small variety of the Southern Magnolia reaching 15-20 feet in height. The dark green leathery leaves have a soft cinnamon-brown underside and it displays fragrant, creamy white flowers in summer.

Serviceberry Amelanchier grandiflora
This attractive small tree reaches 15'-25' in height with gray bark and leathery green leaves. The snow white flowers bloom in May-June. Displays brilliant fall color—from bright yellow to fiery orange/ red. Its small,edible berries make it attractive to most songbirds and wildlife.

Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana
This semi-evergreen native of the southeast has glossy green foliage and creamy, fragrant blossoms in late spring/summer. May achieve 30 feet in height with an upright, conical form.

Medium trees available

These trees will mature at a height around 40 to 45 ft.

Chinese elm | Ulmus parvifolia | 'Allee'
This large tree reaches 50' in height and has an upright-spreading character. The bark peels in a puzzle-like pattern various shades of gray. Yellow to purple fall color.

Chinese pistache Pistache chinensis
Reaching 35 feet this small and durable tree has oval rounded upswept branches. It has interesting flaky bark and displays brilliant orange fall color.

European hornbeam Carpinus betulus
This medium sized tree reaches 30’-40’ in height. This handsome tree has crisp, green summer foliage that turns yellow in the fall. Its pyramidal form becomes rounded at maturity and does well in an urban setting.

Musclewood Carpinus caroliniana
This attractive medium-size tree reaches 35' in height and is tolerant in urban conditions. The blue-green leaves turn orange to dark red in the fall, and it has a very smooth gray bark.

Trident maple Acer buergerianum
This handsome and durable small tree reaches 20'-40' in height. It develops lovely exfoliating bark for winter interest and has an attractive orange to red color in late fall.

Zelkova Zelkova serrata
This fast growing tree reaches 40'-50' in height and displays upright vase-shaped branches. It has yellow to orange fall foliage and is well suited to urban and suburban conditions.

Large trees available

These trees will mature at a height over 60 ft and are inappropriate to plant under power lines.

American elm Ulmus americana
Help us welcome back the beautiful and majestic elm by adopting this new disease resistant cultivar. This rapid grower is drought tolerant and will make an excellent shade tree. It also has a nice yellow fall color.

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

This tough, wind-tolerant tree reaches 50'-70' in height and has an attractive columnar shape. Its bright green feathery foliage and striking rust colored bark make it an asset to any landscape.

Black gum Nyssa sylvatica
This attractive large tree reaches 60' in height and is tolerant of urban conditions. Beautiful, red fall color. Casts light shade. Small, dark purplish fruit attracts birds. Handsome branching structure, noticeable after leaves drop.

Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba
This fruitless variety reaches 50'-80' in height and is quite hardy in urban settings. It loves full sun and has a graceful form. Distinctive fan shaped leaves turn bright yellow in the fall.

Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora
This gorgeous evergreen magnolia is strongly upright in form and reaches 40-50 feet in height. The dark green leathery leaves have a soft cinnamon-brown underside. Fragrant, creamy white flowers bloom in the Spring.

Oaks Quercus species
Raleigh, the City of Oaks, is proud to offer a variety of oak species reaching 60’ in height. These majestic trees are easy to care for, offer excellent shade and produce beautiful fall colors.

Red Maple Acer rubrum
This easy to care for maple reaches 40'-60' in height at maturity, offers excellent shade, and is hardy in an urban setting. This attractive tree has a medium to fast growth rate with brilliant red or yellow fall color.

River birch Betula nigra
A graceful tree with open character which grows 25-45’ in height. Extremely adaptable with good heat tolerance. Has unique bark with papery sheets and plates; noticeable for this characteristic.

Sugar maple Acer saccharum
This attractive shade tree reaches 50'-60' in height at maturity and has a slow to medium growth rate. It has brilliant red or yellow fall color and smooth gray bark. Also used for maple syrup!

Yellow poplar Liriodendron tulipifera
Also known as a Tulip Poplar or Tuliptree, the Yellow Poplar is a fast growing, long-lived tree that reaches 70-100 feet in height. Tulip shaped leaves turn golden yellow in fall.

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